Don’t bet on it

Predictions can sometimes be far off the mark

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The beginning of a new year is a time for predictions. Some come true, some come close, and some fail miserably. Here are some of the last, as offered by Forbes magazine contributor Brent Beshore.

1. “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”—Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962

2. “Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances.”—Dr. Lee DeForest, inventor of the vacuum tube

3. “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”—Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

4. “640K ought to be enough for anybody.”—Bill Gates, 1981

5. “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” —Irving Fisher, professor of economics, Yale University, 1929

6. “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”—Charles H. Duell, commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

7. “Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.”—Pierre Pachet, professor of physiology at Toulouse, 1872

8. “If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.”—National Cancer Institute, 1954

9. “Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”—Grover Cleveland, U.S. president, 1905

10. “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.”—Western Union internal memo, 1876